There is a special hurt that arises in us all when we are betrayed. A lie spoken or a lie of omission, a failure to have our friend or partner’s back in a time of need, a promise not kept or a need gone unfulfilled for far too long. These damaging events can happen once or as I have seen in most marriages, these events happen repeatedly until clear commitments are made and the path to repair is fully illuminated.
Lets begin by understanding that good people lie. They lie because of their need to protect themselves. Immature people lie. People who have not come to terms with their own suffering often lie. There are exceptions. The narcissists and sociopaths who care little of anyone’s internal experience are the awful exceptions. But barring significant personality disorders, the good people who may lie or betray are often contrite and want to be trustworthy. I have observed countless times the realization of the impact of the lie or broken promise and the intense regret and guilt. I also see the worn and weathered look of the spouse who has been betrayed and sees no light and no way through. There is a simple path back to trust and a fortified sense of emotional safety. You must make an exhaustive search within for the areas of potential sabotage in your marriage.
Each partner needs to ask themselves –
What do I do (or have done) that could cause my partner to feel alone, lonely or betrayed?
This question and the answers that you create are the blueprint to creating a safe emotional space.
If you are coming up short, ask your partner to write the answer to –
What have I done or continue to do that causes you to feel alone, lonely, or betrayed? With this information you can move away from defensiveness and fully into a curious and open space where you commit to new behaviors that create trust and safety to grow. It takes action and openness but this process works and should you feel that you need some help with getting these conversations started without getting off track, feel free to call and we can find a time to break it down.
You can trust again and it begins with just that 1 question.